Switch to SWG?

katetexan

New member
Aug 29, 2020
4
The Woodlands, TX
We're considering switching to SWG. We have an inground gunite pool. Would the saltwater shorten the life of our pool? Would we need to make repairs more frequently? What would the reasons be to avoid SWG, if the initial cost is not an issue? And can anyone please recommend a good SWG for a 15k gallon pool? Thanks!
 

Msch99

Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 11, 2018
906
Verona, MO
Little to no difference between salt water pool and other chlorination methods as far as repairs. Unless you drain frequently, non SWG pools build up salts anyway.
I can’t think of a reason to avoid SWG except that it works so well some get lackadaisical about testing FC and get burned a bit. 😉

you want a SWG rated 2X your gallons. So 30k for you. Someone one else will need to suggest brands. I do know some won’t warranty unless a professional installs. It isn’t rocket science so I would DIY. Experts here can help with plumbing suggestions if needed.
 
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markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,609
Atlanta Ga
SWG has one big disadvantage, you may get bored when everytime you test your FC it’s the same for weeks 😃
I was gone out of town for 10 days and water was perfect and FC was still at 7.
I just pour on a little acid every week or 2 ( maybe a cup ) and that’s it. My TA and everything else has been steady.

seriously the biggest thing I like is you don’t feel sticky after swimming. Somebody said instead of needing a shower after swimming you felt like you just took one :)
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,484
Bedford, TX
Kate,

Who told you those fairy tales??? :rolleyes:

Do you currently have an automation system? If so what brand?

Do you plan to self-install or have some pool builder/pool guy do it?

What material are you using for your pool deck and coping?

How old is the pool?

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,573
NY
SWG has one big disadvantage, you may get bored when everytime you test your FC it’s the same for weeks 😃
Seriously Kate. (Welcome BTW) you'll hear such great things about the SWG and be all excited about all this magic thats gonna happen. The truth is it just boringly works and the pool doesn't need much. Many times you'll feel compelled to go find a reason to do something to the pool because you worry about offending the pool Gods. When your other #s are in line because CYA/Calcium and Salt dont change much either, you'll shrug and hope that maybe next week you'll get to add something.

But you'll have lots of free time to hang out on here talking about how awesome the SWG is. :)
 
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markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,609
Atlanta Ga
I will make the SWG resellers mad and tell you to wait until early spring. Lot of us here have Circupool from discount salt and had good luck.
But my Edge40 was $840 in Feb was $1140 last time I checked.
You will want a SWG at least 30K or more, hard to over size but if the cell doesn't have to work wide open 24/7 it last longer
 

katetexan

New member
Aug 29, 2020
4
The Woodlands, TX
Thanks everyone for the great information. I have a couple of follow up questions if you don't mind:

There seem to be opposite opinions out there on both of these issues. What say you?

Thanks!
Tim (Kate's husband)
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,609
Atlanta Ga
I will let the experts answer but pretty sure the answer is no for both :) You just don't want your heater behind the SWG
Can you send a picture of your pool pad ? If you can cut PVC and wire a breaker your set. The Circupool Core actually have a plug and is simple to install
 

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,484
Bedford, TX
Tim,

If you install an anode, you will be the only one in the State of Texas that has one.. :mrgreen: It is a back-East kind of thing/myth..

If you have a tab feeder you must have a check valve.. If you have a SWCG you do not need a check valve. Tab feeders have highly acidic tablets that can leak back in the heater, when the pump is off.. It is low pH that destroys heaters, not the chlorine. When a SWCG is off, it is off, and there is nothing to leak any where.

Thanks,

Jim R.
 
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katetexan

New member
Aug 29, 2020
4
The Woodlands, TX
Thank you both for the quick response - you just saved me some time and money because I was leaning toward installing both just to be sure.

@Mark - Attached is a picture of my plumbing. I'm leaning toward the CircuPool RJ-30+, which means I'll need to get the adapter for vertical installation onto that horizontal run of pipe on the far right (I only have about 12 inches instead of the required 15.75 for horizontal installation without rerouting the entire pipe).
 

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Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
19,484
Bedford, TX
Tim,

Instead of trying to add the SWCG in the small lower section of pipe, I would cut the pipe just before the two 45s up by the heater output.. Basically, come out of the heater and make a 90 stay high where it is now.. Add the SWCG and then drop back down and straight into your return pipe. Should have plenty of room..

This would mean only using two 90's instead of using the 5 couplings you have now...

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,609
Atlanta Ga
Like Jim said you have a pretty basic installation :)
I know a lot of folks are hoping they drop back down in price next year. I debated buying one for a couple years and honestly glad I did. Had good and bad feelings, Good was I wasn't looking for bleach. Bad was I just spend $900 and everything is shutting down. But it worked out so far
 

mguzzy

Gold Supporter
Jul 8, 2015
2,392
OV, CA
Thanks everyone for the great information. I have a couple of follow up questions if you don't mind:

There seem to be opposite opinions out there on both of these issues. What say you?

Thanks!
Tim (Kate's husband)
Well Howdy doodie Tim (Kate's Husband)! Welcome to the forum!

I get to be the one to call you out on your external links... At least now we know who you've been talking to! The advice they dole out here is solid.. I've stopped reading other pool forums. you will too!
So, no, your metal will not corrode due to salt. The salinity is just not high enough to cause that kind of corrosion. I love quoting these salinities
a SWG pool salinity ~3400 ppm
Your tears salinity ~7000ppm
the oceans salinity ~34000 ppm
You will be more inclined to get corrosion from the salt they throw on the road in Minnesota in the winter than the salt in your pool in Texas.. and no a sacrificial anode wont make a bit of difference, especially if your pool is properly bonded anyway, as it should be.

Those "Some People" are thinking that a SWG creates chlorine in the same way a tab feeder does. Yes you want to have a check valve between the heater and a tab feeder to keep the highly chlorinated water out of the heater. .. But an SWG creates a slow low continuous amount of chlorine. If the pumps go off the SWG stops producing Cl, so there is no back wash. I don't have a check valve and I installed my SWG 15 years ago!

I hope that makes sense...
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
4,573
NY
Had good and bad feelings
With one season under your belt, what can you tell Kate/Tim about the intangibles. How worth it was it to you to be mostly hands off all season ? Only if the two options were the same price in the end, or would you gladly spend more for the convenience ? How nice was it to only lug a few jugs instead of a full seasons worth?

8 years later I am too biased. You would have to pry it out of my cold dead hands. The units could double in price due to rare metals and an unstable world economy and i wouldn't even blink. Probably even if triple. But you still see the other side and where Kate is coming from so your thoughts are better for them right now.
 
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markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,609
Atlanta Ga
With one season under your belt, what can you tell Kate/Tim about the intangibles. How worth it was it to you to be mostly hands off all season ? Only if the two options were the same price in the end, or would you gladly spend more for the convenience ? How nice was it to only lug a few jugs instead of a full seasons worth?

8 years later I am too biased. You would have to pry it out of my cold dead hands. The units could double in price due to rare metals and an unstable world economy and i wouldn't even blink. Probably even if triple. But you still see the other side and where Kate is coming from so your thoughts are better for them right now.
I would not go back, I hope this thing last many years but if not I am buying a replacement :)
I handled the daily stuff OK but having a 2 seater convertible buying 6 gallons of liquid chlorine was a pain.
And with tablets my CYA went to 120 and when I had algae it took 12 to 20 gallons.
We have had a very rainy season and my water has stayed perfect. Only issue was when I did a AA treatment for iron and let my FC go to 0 with out polyquat the first time.
 
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Rhanna

Well-known member
May 12, 2020
67
Gallatin, tn
I have an Ichlor SWG from pentair and you can change the percentages in 1% increments. For Circupool, I believe some models are like mine but some have it where it's 0,25,50,75, or 100%. You can get around that by running your pump at different lengths of time but I like running my pump on low speed all day and have it bump up in speed for a few hours. This means my SWG is generating all day.

With all that said, I couldn't image getting rid of my SWG and when my Ichlor needs replacing I will more than likely replace it with a Circupool model.
 

chlorinatorpro

In The Industry
Feb 16, 2016
107
CA
I will make the SWG resellers mad and tell you to wait until early spring. Lot of us here have Circupool from discount salt and had good luck.
But my Edge40 was $840 in Feb was $1140 last time I checked.
You will want a SWG at least 30K or more, hard to over size but if the cell doesn't have to work wide open 24/7 it last longer
I've said before and I will say it again but prices of salt cells are going UP because the ruthenium and iridium prices have skyrocketed. If a vendor is lowering prices you will have to check to see if the warranty has changed or the manufacturer has cut the rated hours of the cell down to minimum levels (like 3000 hours). Most pool owners I've dealt with generally go thru about 2500 hours per year (pump run time x duty cycle). Our cell is rated for 7000 hours. As noted before water chemistry plays a large part in whether those hours are reached.
 
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Rattus Suffocatus

Silver Supporter
Jun 5, 2019
1,241
Corona de Tucson, AZ
You do unfortunately get lazy with testing in a SWCG pool. And it's not so much laziness. If you get busy for a couple of weeks, you know if the system lights are functioning and you have it dialed in that the FC will be stable. That has the same effect as being lazy.

I am probably one who had been having the most issues with a SWCG here lately as I have high TA and I have had scaling issues with the cell. I am trying to work through them, but even then I am adding a fixed amount of Muriatic acid everyday now to try to get my TA down. My fill water is close to neutral pH and the TA runs around 180. So it's a real struggle. But I don't have to haul loads of Bleach anymore and even with high MA use, it's still easier.

Despite that, it's STILL easier to take care of the pool. Everyone in the family likes the salt being in the pool, it is closer to natural tears and other bodily fluids so it's actually better to swim in.

If anything adding salt if probably good for the gunite. I might be nuts, but it seems like adding salt has reduced tile line scaling. (And me chasing TA has done that further). Some people say that it's bad for metal pieces and stone. Assuming that you are already adding bleach per TFP, you are already adding salt to the water anyway. After only about 9 months I had a baseline salt level of 800 PPM. So it's important to properly test before adding salt on a new install.

You don't hear many people saying the regretted the decision. That is for sure. It makes pool services not necessary for most people and I think that is why it is disparaged so much by many professionals.
 

markayash

Gold Supporter
Mar 21, 2016
2,609
Atlanta Ga
If strips were cheaper I would ( don't hate me ) use them more..I know unless my SWG has issues FC will be at 7..I just test to make sure it's still good..
In fact, I almost stop after adding the powder " its red enough"